Ashram neighbor, Alex Campbell, reflects about some of his experiences when he was working here prior to the pandemic this past year. In the unpredictable world of kitchen life, he sees how trusting that people will pull together in challenging times can create a calm and reassurance that everything will be okay.
Working at the Ashram has been a really profound learning experience. Just being in this environment has been so beneficial.
When you’re looking after so many people as the chefs are, things are going to come up—like staff not being able to get into work some days. There have been circumstances I thought would be a huge problem, but in the end it always turns out to be such a perfect example of everyone coming together at the right moment and making things work.
Being part of this has been really beneficial to me. There have been times when something happens—like the power goes out—and I know that everyone will come together and just pitch in. I don’t even worry about it anymore.
I remember once the power went out right after lunch and not being able to use the dishwashing machine. There were hundreds of plates and dishes. It ended up being such a beautiful example of coming together and things working out.
It’s having people who have been through this before staying calm and having everyone be open right from the start—saying, “Hey, I need help here” and getting that help. In my experience, it’s people coming together in really challenging times with a positive attitude – everyone knowing that the person beside them is pulling their weight. I think that is the main part —being able to trust and have confidence that everyone’s doing their part.
I’ve definitely brought situations that I have been through at the Ashram into my private life. When I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, it’s become common practice now from working at the Ashram to just stay calm. If I can let someone know that I need help, I will, and the inner knowing comes that things are going to work out.